Projector makers add features to ride mobile trend | Bangkok Post: tech

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Projector makers add features to ride mobile trend

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Leading projector makers are racing to create devices that can connect to smartphones and tablets in order to drive sales and capitalise on the boom in mobile devices, says the world's top projector producer Epson. 

Thailand's projector market is expected to grow by 15-20% over the next five years, fuelled by a greater variety of models and strong demand in the corporate and educational markets, said Yunyong Muneemongkoltorn, general manager of Epson (Thailand).

Projector makers are launching more models with WiFi connectivity and HDMI ports compatible with Apple devices, especially iPhones and iPads, he said.

But he acknowledged that prices of these projectors are still high, up to 30,000 baht, compared to the current average price of 20,000 baht.

Mr Yunyong said that only 10% of the new product rollout featured mobile-connected projectors. "This feature might become a key function over the next three years."

He said the corporate sector is the major customer base for Epson, thanks to demand for presentations.

Even though smartphone makers are adding projector features to their phones, their brightness is not suitable for presentations in boardrooms or classrooms.

Mr Yunyong said the arrival of digital signage and interactive displays in modern retail shops will help stimulate demand for new projectors.

In countries like Japan and Taiwan, digital signage and new modern museums have driven the growth of the projector market.

Although Thailand is still an emerging market, Mr Yunyong said the local educational market has a bright prospect as Thailand has up to 100,000 institutes.

Eiji Kato, the country manager of Epson Thailand, said the company's projector sales surged by 50% on sales revenue of 500 million baht during the last nine months of 2012.

This month Epson introduced seven models serving the education, corporate and home entertainment segments to retain its market leader position.

Thailand's projector market is expected to rise by 20% this year, up from 2.7 billion baht in 2012. Epson aims to have a 30% market share, Mr Kato said.

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